Saturday, November 17, 2012

Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto Australian Tour Review

One of the best things about Coldplay is that they just keep getting better and better and this year was no exception. We recently went to go see them play live at Melbourne's Etihad stadium and I gotta say, I have never been to concert like this before and was blown away by the lengths that the tour went to to make it one great show. This year they opened with Melbourne band, The Temper Trap and from the States, The Pierces. The Temper Trap were especially good at warming up the crowd with some of their own anthems like Sweet Disposition and newer releases like Rabbit Hole which sounded fantastic live.

Chris Martin at Etihad Stadium, Melourne Australia
There were a number of highlights to this concert. First, was a new addition I'd never seen before called XyloBands and were given to everyone as they entered. Worn on the wrist these would light up and flash during specific songs, encouraging the crowd to get into the rhythm of it. A bit gimmicky? Perhaps. But it was really effective and if you were there, the sight of a full stadium at night with these things going off with the live music just enhanced an already awesome experience ;-)

The Back to the Future theme song heralded the start of Coldplays 2 hour set much to the excitement of the thousands of fans and concert goers followed by a cascade of fireworks displays, laser lights and strobes. A visual feast for the eyes and as if that wasn't enough, strategically placed air cannons filled the stadium with little coloured paper hearts and butterflies. This was soon followed by giant bouncing balls tossed in for the audience to play with!

Most of the set heavily featured songs from their latest album Mylo Xyloto with a sprinkling of anthems such as Yellow, Clocks, Warning Signs and others. All and all money well spent. The above show reel I put together shows the concerts highlights. All footage was taken with the Canon S95 and edited with Windows Movie Maker. Enjoy ;-)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

First Photos With The Nikkor 10-24mm

Here are the first shots taken with my recently aquired ultra wide angle lens, Nikkor DX 10-24mm. So far I'm loving the quality of the images. If you look hard enough there are many unique places to shoot in your own backyard - even in the suburbs. These images were also processed using Nik's Snapseed iPad app.

Fields of Yellow - Point Cook, Victoria.
The Urban Desert - Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
Past & Present - Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Dead Forest

Last year on a trip to Mt Beauty we decided to drive out a little further to the near by ski fields. I purposely brought my D7000 with me to capture some landscapes. The off season is a very eerie time of the year up here where all is silent and dead, trees devoid of life and colour. Although I took this in colour it was quickly evident this would be better in black and white. The result is a black and white converted HDR image of 3 exposures. Enjoy :-)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

On the way to the Pizza Shop - Big City Bridge

As a photographer you feel a certain amount of pressure to get a great shot. I think this can be a good thing as it pushes you to go out in search of new and interesting things. This particular night I was in Sydney. I often will plan these walks through a city with military like strategy. The shot here was taken toward the end of the night before looking for one of Sydney's trendy little pizza shops...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Art of being an Artist

I often feel that my art is not good enough or somehow the hack work of other greater image makers. Sometimes you just feel like your never doing enough to make yourself happy artistically. The art of being an artist is hard and if ever want be one.. well... just keep challenging yourself to see the world differently and keep practicing your craft - Know it inside out. Over time I believe anyone can make something that inspires others.

I saw this little stone statue down one of Melbourne's many alleyways in Chinatown.

Photo by, Jason Cook

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Secret Butterfly Garden

So we've recently returned from a 6 week tour around Europe and boy was it busy! As you can imagine I have a swag of new images to share with the internets. This HDR was taken during 6 hour stop over at Changi airport, Singapore. You would not believe how awesome this airport is and I was impressed at how modern and beautiful they've made it. I happened upon this place on a search for a completely different spot that I wanted to take photos from. Thus I called it 'The Secret Butterfly Garden' as the outdoor enclosure houses a large variety of Butterflies of all sorts of colours.

Photo by, Jason Cook

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Light of the City - Darling Harbour's Night Life

I dang near killed myself during this trip from the shear exhaustion of photographing all night. Looking back at these images I'm glad I made the effort, shooting well into the night. So I have a good treasure trove of images left to process on these long cold winter nights...

This place was really quite amazing. Darling Harbour is lined with all fashion of restaurants, cafes and Hotels.

Photo by, Jason Cook

Monday, June 6, 2011

Epic Journey

I had made a pact with myself to take my camera almost everywhere I go, so each morning I take it with me to work in the hopes I'll be ready for any photographic opportunities. On this day it was real cold and I was about to get on the train when I noticed the sun rising in the distance. The light was fantastic so I missed my train just to get the shot - And I was glad I did. I think good photography is often times about going out of your way to get that shot.

As I shoot in raw, I had to bring the original warm colours I saw that morning in post. This was not HDR'd at all...

Photo by, Jason Cook

Friday, June 3, 2011

Still Waters of Life

One Saturday afternoon we were all in Dalesford for a family day trip. As we left I decided to setup for a quick series of bracketed exposures. Actually I was keen to test out my NEW Nikon D7000 which I had I had taken out for field testing! I love this camera...

In post, I found the HDR process brought in a lot of noise to final image. I managed to deal with my noise issues using a combination of light room and noiseware pro. I particularly like the reflections in this shot and the symmetry of this composition.

Photo by, Jason Cook

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Misty Sunrise in Altona

One early morning I drove to a place called 'The Steps' in Altona, Victoria, Australia. I'm getting better at stopping the car and pulling over when I see something photographically compelling. Everything looked right and the mood created by the mist across the water and the early morning light was just perfect.

Photo by, Jason Cook

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Hidden Sculpture of Love

Before Shot: This is the middle exposure of three shots taken.

Before & After - HDR Photography

Here is a perfect example of why I love the HDR process and what is possible as opposed to 'conventional' methods. To the right you can see one of the three shots I took before I processed them as an HDR image - Below this is the HDR version combining all three exposures. I plan to write up an HDR tutorial one day and publish it free on this site.

Photo: The Hidden Sculpture of Love

This place was discovered by a friend of mine who happened upon it on one of her many wanderings around Melbourne city. Taking the long way home one night, I stopped by this place and set up for a few bracketed exposures like some sort of crazed photo maniac. On this particular shoot, I manually set my focus to infinity. I'm actually surprised how well this turned out and the overall image was nice and sharp.

Photo by, Jason Cook

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Cold Night at North Melbourne

Another one of those many cold dark and wet nights on the trip back home after work. I decided pass the time waiting for late running train by taking a few snaps. I enjoy the lead in lines in angles like this one. This is actually not an HDR processed image at all. I think it would be nice to break it up a little once and awhile and share something different.

Photo by, Jason Cook

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mount Beauty's Endless Landscape

Mount Beauty is not really a mountain at all but more of a valley where the town is situated. After driving around all day sightseeing and discovering new territories, I found this little dirt road off the beaten path. I just managed to set up in time for sunset.

I haven't done many panos but I do often enjoy the results and this one is nice. Creating a Pano is hard enough without having to HDR the thing as well - Which is what i've done here. I hope you enjoy it...

Photo by, Jason Cook

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Before the Tide Came in

This was another one of those places I see often on my ride into work. I take the train into the city and although that has its own set of issues, I do see some nice spots to come back to and make some art. This time I came back just before a trip to Bright. A nice start to the day....

Photo by, Jason Cook

Morning Glory of the Sun for Melbourne

It has been quite sometime since my last shoot so this particular morning I decided to get up and catch the sun rising. I had been meaning to get to this place for awhile as I knew it had a good view of the city as well. I build this mental list of places to come back to and photograph and this was one of them.

I have yet to enjoy getting out of a warm bed at this hour but usually the effort is well worth it. And Coffee helps too!

To the left you can make out Melbourne city as the fog clears around it...

Photo by, Jason Cook

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Full Moon

Ever seen the moon HDR'd? Well now you have. I learnt that the moon is extremely bright so when your setting up for a set of bracketed shots, your shutter times need to be real quick. Otherwise you'll end up with an overexposed moon which has no detail at all. To force my exposure time down, I simply just adjust my exposure compensation. Quick shutter times were also a good thing because the moon moved surprisingly fast as it rose. When your shootin for HDR, the less movement an object makes the easier post processing becomes.

Photo by, Jason Cook